Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Short Stuff

A few short news items of interest:


Hmmmm. Strange way that the canal vision was released. It almost came out too quickly without the pomp that will take place weeks from now. Explanations:
  1. Bloggers have been mocking the Mayor about the delay in releasing the Report

  2. The Mayor wants to hear all of the negatives now so that he has an answer for everything when the Report is officially released and he also needs to keep Council onside

  3. He needed a way to divert attention from his failure on the border file that the creation of CIBPA pointed out so clearly.


Undoubtedly, a number of the DRIC people have to be in shock after the Free Press story yesterday:

  • "Moroun tries to sink rival bridge -- with help from Detroit congresswoman

    WASHINGTON — In his latest bid to block a rival span from being built across the Detroit River, Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun wants to forbid federal spending on the project — and he wants the ban written into next year's federal budget.

    The Detroit International Bridge Co. he controls asked U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, a Detroit Democrat who is the state’s sole member on the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee, to block funding for a proposed bridge near Zug Island that federal transportation officials, the State of Michigan and supporters in Canada are backing…

    Kilpatrick posted the request on her Web site on Monday, one of dozens of requests for earmarks submitted to her — items that go into the federal budget, are introduced by individual members of Congress and typically call for spending on projects, not prohibiting it.”

If there is something to be done that is “untypical on the border file, guess who will do it. That is why Gord wrote:

  • “I'm in awe of Moroun and his hired hands. These folks are the masters. They're always two or three cunning moves ahead of the other players in what amounts to a high-stakes border chess match."

I wonder what comes next?


Back in March, we read:

  • “The wildly popular Final Four college basketball extravaganza in Detroit next month is shaping up as a slam-dunk for Windsor, too.

    Most of Motown’s 5,000 downtown hotel rooms are booked for the April 4 to 6 tournament, as are the majority of Windsor’s 1,800 downtown hotel rooms.

    “This is fantastic,” Gordon Orr, managing director of the local convention and visitors bureau, said Monday. “This is a nice piece of business for the Windsor area to pick up in April. And there’s more benefit than just for hotels when the tourism dollars come over to this side.”

    Orr said he expects $1.3 million in direct spending in this area in the span of just a few days, which translates into $2.9 million in economic benefit — once those who make money locally treat themselves to something extra.”

That seems a pretty low amount considering that Super Bowl was going to bring in between $80 to $100 million to Windsor according to Eddie. There were all kinds of parties here during Super Bowl including “transformation of the Windsor Armoury into a ski chalet for the private NFL International Party” that must have generated that extra $97M or so.

We should run a pool about what the economic benefit of Red Bull will be said to be. It has to cover the $3.2M of City/Province sponsorship money doesn’t it! I wonder how much Eddie has raised so far and from whom.


I guess the Tunnel lived up to its reputation as a poor crossing point during the Final Four:

  • Illinois' Bruce Weber had a tough time through Windsor tunnel

    Illinois coach Bruce Weber was on Fox Sports Radio Saturday afternoon, sharing his displeasure with the logistics of the Final Four in Detroit.

    He said he loved Ford Field, but likely won't soon forget the border crossing from his Windsor hotel to the stadium for a NABC all-star game practice this week, where he was a coach.

    The way he told the story, he and Purdue coach Matt Painter had a grueling experience waiting through the tunnel line and, once they emerged and faced customs, they were asked to step out of the car so it could be searched.

    There was at least one moment of levity, though. He said the border guard told him he was a Michigan fan.”

They should have taken a taxi and crossed at the Bridge. Ooooops, that could have been a problem with Veteran Cab on strike. I wonder if that increased the number of Tunnel Bus customers.


I wonder who would want it at $100M!

  • Cockrel to delay action on plan to eliminate Detroit's deficit
    Ideas to plug $300-million hole to be in budget

    Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. will delay action on his plan to eliminate the city's $300-million deficit, holding it back until he submits the 2009-10 budget to the City Council next month.

    A mayoral spokesman said there has been so much focus on preparing the new budget, which under city law must be presented by April 12, that it made sense to wrap the deficit-elimination plan into the regular budget instead of trying to approve it separately.

    However, the change means delaying the formal cuts until the council wraps up budget work in late May -- after the May 5 special mayoral election in which Cockrel will face businessman Dave Bing.

    Anthony Neely, Cockrel's deputy press secretary, said it has taken longer than expected to win union support for a proposed 10% wage cut, projected to save the city $48 million. But Cockrel still wants the concessions and other proposals in his deficit plan, such as 57 layoffs, consolidating towing contracts and selling the rights to the profit generated by the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the lighting and parking systems, in exchange for $250 million in lump-sum payments….

    Neely denied that Cockrel is putting off tough decisions until after the election. "The mayor's going to present a solid budget several weeks before the election," he said. "There's going to be lots of hard choices referenced."

And hope is given to the electorate before the election that the Budget deficit will end too so finances are not an issue."


Would you buy a used car from these politicians or a new one from a bankrupt company?

Now that the US will guarantee auto warranties, Canada followed along.

Obama's guarantee:

  • “If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always,” President Obama said during a speech from the White House. “Your warranty will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it’s ever been, because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty.”

And the Canadian one

  • Ministers Clement and Day Announce New Measures to Help Boost Consumer Confidence in Auto Industry

    OTTAWA, April 7, 2009 — The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, today announced a pair of new measures to help boost consumer confidence in the auto industry.

    The Government of Canada has created the Canadian Warranty Commitment Program for new vehicles purchased from General Motors of Canada Limited (GMCL) and Chrysler Canada Inc., and added $700 million to Export Development Canada's (EDC) Accounts Receivable Insurance (ARI) program available to auto parts suppliers.

    “By back-stopping new vehicle warranties for General Motors and Chrysler in Canada, and putting our auto suppliers on a more stable footing, our goal is to increase consumer confidence and encourage Canadians to buy new cars,” said Minister Clement. “Accounts receivable can be one of the largest assets on a parts supplier's balance sheet, and the recent global credit crunch has put a strain on companies' cash flow. To that end, the ARI program is a significant tool at the disposal of auto suppliers.”

    “These measures, along with other measures announced by our government, will help achieve a viable industry that maintains Canada's share of Canada–U.S. production going forward,” said Minister Day.

    Under the Canadian Warranty Commitment Program, the federal government is committed to honouring consumer warranties on new vehicles purchased from GMCL or Chrysler Canada for a limited period while improved restructuring plans are put in place.

    The Canadian warranty program parallels the U.S. warranty program announced by President Barack Obama on March 30, 2009.


Councillor Hatfield must be missing the electronic media game. How else to explain the lob he pitched at Mayor Eddie about the tunnels in Toronto at Council that Chris Schnurr recorded.

I guess he was auditioning for a job at CKLW for the Tuesday interview show! This would never have worked on Percy's Panel.